$500m Extra For Drought-Affected Farmers From NSW Government

‘We have listened to farmers throughout NSW who have told me they urgently need help.’

Drought-stricken farmers in New South Wales have been granted $500 million in extra emergency drought relief from the state government.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the half-billion dollar package, that has been backdated to January this year, on Monday.

“We have listened to farmers throughout NSW who have told me they urgently need help,” she said.

Virtually all of the state is now drought-affected, with approximately 15 percent in intense drought, leaving farmers crying out for emergency help.

“To date, we have already committed $584 million in drought support, most of which is focused on preparation for drought conditions,” the premier said.

“However conditions are now so dire that further support needs to address the more immediate needs for farmers and their communities until the drought breaks.”

About $190 million will go towards introducing drought transport subsidies of up to $20,000 per farm business. This will cover up to 50 percent of the full cost of transporting fodder.

The state government will also cut about $100 milliion in farming fees and charges by waiving Local Land Service rates, fixed water charges in rural and regional areas and agricultural vehicle registration costs.

READ MORE: The 'Quiet' Drought That Has Snuck Up On Our Doorstep

READ MORE: How You Can Help Drought-Stricken Farmers

About $150 million will go towards bolstering the Farm Innovation Fund infrastructure program.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said backdating the measure was important to ensure the government’s commitment to farmers.

“We said we would constantly reassess the conditions and relief measures,” he said.

“Importantly, we have backdated this relief measure to the start of the year when the drought intensified, especially in the Upper Hunter and Western NSW.

"This means eligible farmers who made the decision to destock earlier this year will still benefit from this new relief package.”

If you want to help Australian farmers in need, you can donate to a registered charity. Donate online to Rural Aid's Buy a Bale, Drought Angels or Lions' Need for Feed. You can also support farmers by buying Australian grown produce at your local supermarket.